Owning an RV is a lot like owning any other home. Maintenance is a consistent concern.
You need to make sure that your RV stays in good condition not only so that you can continue to use it, but so that the value of the RV stays as high as possible. That way when you go to sell or upgrade your unit, you will get the most for it.
With that in mind, I want you to know that you don’t have to become a super-handy RV repair man or woman. You also don’t want to rely on an expensive service department for all of your RV needs.
Take charge of your RV’s maintenance and you’ll save yourself money and a lot of headaches. Here are some tasks you can easily do yourself.
RV Tire Care
Tires. Without them, your RV isn’t going anywhere. That’s why you need to make sure the rubber on your ride is in tip-top shape.
Proper tire care depends on two things: the condition of the tire itself and the tire’s air pressure.
Air pressure is easy. Get yourself a good tire pressure gauge and check your tires before you set off. If they’re low, then add some air to the tire and make sure to adhere to the maximum air pressure set by the manufacturer (it’s printed right on the tire sidewall).
The condition of the tire itself is a little more complicated. Look at the tire tread depth, the condition of the rubber itself (cracks or dry rot), and try to keep an eye on if the tires are wearing evenly.
All of these things are basic visual inspections and can be done by anyone really. You can measure the tread by taking a quarter and sticking it in the tread grooves. Do so with the head on the coin pointing towards the tire. If the top of Washington’s head is covered, you have enough tread to keep going. If not, consider new tires.
Motorhome Filters and Fluid Levels
Motorhomes come with their own maintenance tasks, because they have an engine and drivetrain.
While I’m not going to tell you to become a mechanic, I am going to advise you to learn how to check your motorhome’s engine and brake fluids as well as the various filters on the RV.
Your owner’s manual should list the mileage or age requirements for replacing filters and fluid. Stick to those requirements. You can have someone else perform those regular maintenance tasks. However, between those maintenance intervals, make sure you still check the fluid levels and the filter status.
Checking between service intervals will help you ensure that your RV is in good condition. Sometimes an RV can develop a oil leak or a coolant leak. If you’re not checking the fluid levels you won’t notice and that could cause issues down the road.
Slide-Out and Awning Maintenance
If your RV has slide-out sections and an awning, then you need to make sure these things stay in good condition.
My recommendation here is to keep them clean and free of debris and make a note of any worn or damaged parts. Do this before you go to the campground. The last thing you want is to have a slide-out stuck or your awning ripped or not functioning at the campground.
Extend the awning and look it over. make sure it works right and there are no tears or worn looking areas. If so, consider replacing your awning or having it repaired before you go.
For slide-outs, you can clean the slide yourself with some mild soapy water and try to remove any dirt and debris from around the slide-out. From there, you need to lubricate your slide-out. There are lubricants designed specifically for slides. Don’t just use WD-40.
Those are my basic maintenance tips to help you save a little money. If you have any maintenance questions or concerns, reach out to Gander’s service department.